The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Nigeria has launched a COVID-19 Food Security Challenge for three million dollars in grant and technical assistance to address food insecurity.
The USAID Mission Director, Anne Patterson, in Awka, explained that the opportunity would be given to youth-led and mid-stage companies working in food value chains in Nigeria.
The statement also indicated that the country’s food insecurity is compounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and its effects on the food value chain.
It further stated that the pandemic disrupted agricultural productivity, markets and negatively impacts livelihoods, especially among vulnerable households, women, and youth.
“We are launching the COVID-19 Food Security Challenge to help innovative Nigerians to check food insecurity.
“This assistance encourages private sector-led solutions to boost food production, processing and create market linkage along the agriculture value chain in a sustainable way across Nigeria.
USAID seeks commercially viable youth-led and mid-stage companies already working in food production, processing and distribution to participate in the challenge.
Successful applicants are expected to present ideas that demonstrably help farmers and other players in the agricultural value chain to increase agricultural productivity and food security within the next six months.
15 to 25 youth-led companies are expected to receive $75,000 each and 10 to 15 mid-stage companies up to $150,000 each.
Recipients of the funding and technical assistance are expected to rapidly expand their activities to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s food value chain and improve the resilience of vulnerable households to the negative effects of the pandemic. It further announced that application for the grant would be open from April 12 to May 9.